Does recovery following a thoracolumbar burst fracture include a brace and/or a long period of bed rest?

In the past, recovery from a burst fracture in the thoracolumbar region could include any combination of significant bed rest, surgery, and a brace (orthosis). However, recent treatments have been moving away from these due to the increased costs and risks of surgery and bed rest. In a recent study by Bailey et al they demonstrated that there was no difference between treatment of this injury with or without a brace. The treatment for both groups included a lifting restriction of less than five pounds, and a bending restriction not past ninety degrees at the waist. Neither group was instructed in bed rest and restrictions were lifted after eight weeks. The results of this study indicate that neither a brace or significant bed rest is required for safe recovery. It is important however to discuss your injury with your physician because there can be individual circumstances which would call for different course of treatment.